Kathy Connelly and Toine Hoefs
“Since each horse is a new journey for the rider, it is important that the partnership is good. It is a real privilege and honor to help our clients seek their dream horse" –Kathy Connelly
Kathy Connelly is an international dressage rider, trainer and coach as well as an S level judge. She has won national titles at all the FEI levels including The United States Grand Prix Championship and The United States World Cup Championship. She represented the USA at the World Cup in Gothenburg, Sweden, and was the highest placed member of the Grand Prix bronze medal team at the North American Championships. She has always selected her own horses and trained them to the Grand Prix. Kathy trained extensively with the late German trainer Herbert Rehbein and also trained with Ernst Bachinger, current Director of the Spanish Riding School of Vienna. One of Kathy’s specialties is training piaffe and passage on the long lines.
Kathy has successfully partnered her riders with horses for over 25 years. Her horses and students have competed on Olympic teams, at The World Cup, The World Games, and The Pan American Games, The Canadian World Cup and The United States Young Rider Teams. She has acted as Chef d’Equipe tor the U.S. Dressage Team and coached the U.S. Silver Medal-winning International Young Rider Team in Australia in 2003.
Many successful international riders have trained with Kathy, including Shannon Dueck, Jessica Ransehousen, Betsy Steiner, Todd Flettrich, Reese Koffler Stanfield, and George Williams (with Marnix and Rocher, United States Grand Prix Champion, and winner three times at Dressage at Devon). She also trains many amateurs and Young Riders, including Katie Walsh, the 1995 NAYRC National Champion.
Kathy is a member of the High Performance Committee for the USET and is a member of the USEF Dressage Committee. She is Chair for the USEF Sub-Committee for Test Writing and is a member of the USEF Licensed Officials Committee. Kathy is also a member of the USDF Planning Committee and Co-Chair of the USDF Evaluation of the Certified Instruction Program. She is one of the USDF designated clinicians for United States Young Rider Program along with Sue Blinks, Debbie McDonald, Jan Ebeling and George Williams.
She has published numerous articles in all United States Dressage magazines and is co-author of the book “Dressage Insights and Excerpts from the Experts” Kathy is on the Advisory Board of “Dressage Today” magazine, and she is the Dressage Products Advisor for Dover Saddlery. She is also a popular clinician throughout the U.S.
Kathy is based in Concord, Massachusetts, in the spring, summer, and fall, and she winters in Wellington, Florida.
Toine Hoefs has been a licensed KWPN Breed judge and KWPN inspector for over 15 years. As an inspector, he annually views the top mares, foals and sport horses in Holland. He has supplied mares and young horses to breeding farms all over the world.
Toine has operated his own breeding farm, Stal Hoefs, in Erp, Holland since 1982 and has received international acclaim for his many successful home bred and raised horses. Toine’s professional advice is coveted by those developing foundation stock for breeding programs. He has earned international recognition for the extraordinary talent he brings to spotting gifted foals and youngsters. The following are a testament to this aptitude:
- The German Oldenburg approved Ex Libris (Elan/Aphrodite), the sire of Escapado, the Olympic mount of Carl Hester. Escapado was purchased by the sponsors of Olympian Hans Peter Minderhoud of the Netherlands, who also has been extraordinarily successful with him,
- The Dutch bred stallion Juventus (Dublin/Aphrodite), Reserve Champion in the Stallion Show and in the 70-Day Test, Holland and Grand Champion Stallion at Devon in 2000
- Sagacious (Welt Hit II x Cocktail), the 2002 KWPN Dutch Stallion Show Reserve Champion Dressage Horse and the 2007 Individual Silver and Team Gold Medal Winning horse at the Pan American Games with Lauren Sammis and currently showing very successfully at Grand Prix
- Williams, the highest placed gelding at the 2008 Pavo Cup in Ermelo, Holland, and the United States Young Horse Candidate for the Young Horse World Championships in Verden, Germany, in 2008
- Saigon (Democrat x Juventus), winner of the 2007 Prix St. George Challenge, ridden by Margot McAllister
- Uptown (Kennedy x Ubis,) the 2003 KWPN Dutch Stallion Champion and Dutch 70-Day Test Champion
- Washington (Rhodium x Jet Set), the 2006 KWPN Approved Dutch Stallion
- Adamo (Sandreo x Pion),owned by Toine Hoefs, Kathy Connelly, and Frenk Jespers. Bought as a foal. Approved KWPN in 2008 Stallion Show, currently ridden by Kirsten Beckers in Holland.
Toine judged the Breed Show at Dressage at Devon in 2004 and in 2005 was chosen as the presenter and clinician at the USEF Dressage Sport Horse Judges Seminar in California. In 2008, he was one of the judges of the Pavo Cup competition in Holland in 2008, and is the Breed Inspector for the province of Brabant in Holland.
Today, Toine is known as one of the top Judge's and Inspectors for the KWPN in all of Europe
Toine's home base in Erp, Holland, is in close proximity to Germany, Belgium, France, Denmark, and other top producing countries. He attends fifty plus competitions each year and his personal relationships and respected reputation across Europe enable him access to quality horses, often prior to their being offered for sale on the open market.